Haircuts, tattoos, and massages are finally allowed again

Haircuts, tattoos, and massages are finally allowed again

Hairdressers give haircuts to customers at a women's beauty parlour after the government eased the nationwide lockdown previously imposed against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Bangalore on May 20, 2020. / AFP / Manjunath Kiran

You’re finally allowed to go for a haircut or a massage, but can’t have a massage while getting your hair cut.

Government has released the rules for personal care services, including hair salons, tattoo parlours, and make-up artist, who may officially start working again as of Friday night.

After more than three months, the following service providers can officially return to work, according to the Government Gazette published on Friday afternoon:

a) Hairdressing;
b) Barbering;
c) Nail and toe treatment;
d) Facial treatment and make – up;
e) Body massage; and
f) Tattooing and body piercing.

The rules demand strict hygiene protocols, and as with previous gazettes, there are some strange provisions.

The expected requirements for social distancing and face masks and gloves, which must be changed after every customer, are in place , as well as a requirement for partitioning between work stations which are less than 1,5 metres apart.

Service providers must also wear aprons, which must be washed after each customer .

One of the rules which is bound to raise eyebrows is that massage services may resume, but hairdressers who wash their customers’ hair must ensure “no unnecessary touching and no scalp, neck, shoulders and arms massages at the basin”, while there must be “set time limits for each treatment to minimise unnecessary interactions with customers”.

Though not explicitly banned from returning to work, employees older than 60 or those with co-morbidities “must be discouraged from working”, and any owner or worker and customer “who has flu -like symptoms must not be allowed to work or to be treated.

Businesses must also maintain a register of all customers and people treated each day, to allow for easy tracing if an infection is suspected.

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